As Syria has made the news, I can’t help but think about the correlations to the last days. It is significant that Damascus is a common city in the Bible, but it is noteworthy that Isaiah 17 says it will be obliterated: “Behold, Damascus is about to be removed from being a city and will become a fallen ruin” (vs. 1). Damascus is the capital of Syria and the second largest city in the country. It is also one of the oldest continuously inhabited cities in the world. Some of the earliest, Egyptian records from 1350 BC refer to Damascus (called Dimasqu), and most historians think Damascus was around many hundreds, if not thousands, of years before that. Damascus has never been uninhabited, yet Isaiah prophesies against them predicting their total demise. Being that Damascus has never been destroyed, it is obvious that Isaiah’s prophecy is yet to be fulfilled. When will Damascus be destroyed? How will it be destroyed?
Isaiah 17:14 says, “At evening time, behold, there is terror! Before morning they are no more.” Whatever the means of their destruction, it will take place quickly and decisively. I can only think of two ways this could happen. One could be an earthquake that decimates the city. While this is possible, it is difficult to imagine. The Great Chilean Earthquake in 1960 has been labeled as the most powerful earthquake of all time, yet it did not totally destroy Valdivia, the city at the epicenter. The second possibility is destruction from a modern-day bombing – possibly a nuclear bomb. If there is terror in the evening, and by morning “they are no more,” one can see how a barrage of bombs would bring “terror,” and a nuclear blast would bring total eradication.
Could it be that the events taking place in Syria today are a part of Isaiah’s prophecy from 2700 years ago? What we do know is that one day, Damascus will be destroyed. We will not know that the current conflict is the incident Isaiah is predicting until after Damascus ceases to exist. It will happen, and it is easy to see how the current upheaval could result in Damascus’ destruction.
Now the question is, “Does this mean we are living in the last days?” Just because Damascus might be destroyed, does that have to mean the return of Christ is imminent? I’ll write about that next time. What are your thoughts?